Archive for December 26th, 2021

Both Sides, Now

Georgia O'Keeffe Sky Above Clouds IV

Georgia O’Keeffe- Sky Above Clouds IV, 1965

I was reading Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King” on a plane and early in the book Henderson the Rain King is also up in a plane. He’s on his way to Africa and he looks down and sees these clouds. I put down the book, looked out the window and saw clouds too, and I immediately started writing the song. I had no idea that the song would become as popular as it did.

— Joni Mitchell, On her song Both Sides, Now

I knew immediately when I heard Brittany Howard and Herbie Hancock performing Both Sides, Now as part of the Joni Mitchell section of this years Kennedy Center Honors, that I would put it up for this week’s Sunday Morning musical selection.

It is a lovingly performed version that respects and honors the song and Mitchell. It’s a song whose power is derived from vocal pauses and quiet passages from Hancock’s piano, and the spacious venue at the Kennedy Center really accentuated that aspect of it.

Simple and elegant.

One of my favorite covers of this song which is saying a lot since it has been recorded by over 1000 artists.

Do yourself a favor and give a listen. On the morning after Christmas, a pause and a bit of quiet does the soul some good.

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